Saturday, September 1, 2007

Happy Labor Day (USA) Weekend!

It's time to box up our white shoes, hats, and handbags, ladies; Labor Day Weekend (click me!) is here! That's right, it's the end of Summer, although Summer doesn't actually end for 3 more weeks yet.

To a man, Labor Day weekend has traditionally meant rest from work. To a woman, it's when we start getting ready to give birth to last year's Christmas presents. I've done this twice, myself. I've also had three Mother's Day presents and two Labor day ones, so I'm seriously considering developing an "allergy" to holidays.

All these lovely presents are making the stork weary, too. About three years ago, while pregnant with present number 7, I went to the local drug store for something, I forget what it was, and the cashier offered me a free gift. It was a 10-pack of garden seeds. "How cool", I thought, I love gardens. Then I got home and took a closer look. There were three packages of seeds for mustard greens and 7 packages of seeds for (take a wild guess, now -- ) CABBAGE. And of course, I'm so slow witted that I didn't even get the humor of that until this morning when I was thinking about it. I guess that explains why the cashier, to this day, tries not to laugh every time I go into the store.

My guess is that the stork put her up to that, he's trying to tell me to grow my own cabbage patch so he can have a break, too, delivering babies to me for twenty years has, no doubt, been a tough job.

So anyway, in honor of Labor Day, we're honoring Mothers, Fathers, and Storks by featuring some baby-type movies.

One of them, Penny Serenade, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, is about a lovely couple who bend over backwards to jump through the hoops of the adoption process. Although this movie is classified as a comedy, I think it's more of a drama, as it actually paints a pretty good picture of the stress induced struggles a couple can face as they go through the adoption process.

Natural parents have many stresses, but we fail to recognize that adoptive parents have them, too. So whether you got your kid from the stork or you pulled him out of a cabbage patch, Classic Cinema Online wishes you all happy Labor Day, with wishes of joy and happiness to outweigh the not so happy moments.

And for those of you who's Labor Days are a day of rest from work, we have some good movies for you, too. The Grapes of Wrath should help you to appreciate your job enough to send a nice gift basket to your boss in appreciation for your job when you return to work on Tuesday, because things could be worse for you. Without our jobs we face homelessness and having our families endure stresses that could tear us apart as we struggle to find shelter and meet our families' other basic needs.

Another Labor Day feature, which is another highly acclaimed movie, is Salt of the Earth. This has to do with the plight of coal miners in New Mexico. This movie made me cry in some areas, and rejoice in others. AND, not only is this a good Labor Day movie because it highlights someone's employment, but as an added bonus, the stork had a role in this movie.

No Top 10 This week
We're cutting out our top 10 movies for a while, as I'm reorganizing things here so that I can include all the movies, not just the ones on the Google server, in our top 10s. They'll be back after the first of the new year, if not a little sooner.

Beginning This Week...
Starting today, I will play one film request every Saturday by posting that request directly on the blog. This will be our Saturday Special.

This week's Saturday Special is A Matter of Life and Death, starring David Niven and Kim Hunter.

The Saturday Specials may or may not also be found on our billboards, but they can all be found in the menu bar on the right side of the blog below the film genres. Look for the "Saturday Specials" label, and you'll see the movies listed there. Beginning in January, 2008, we'll publish the Saturday Specials on our new blog dedicated solely to our Saturday Specials, called "Classic Cinema Online's Saturday Special Matinee". This way you won't have to sift through our archives to find the different Matinee specials, you can just visit the other blog for that.

And last but NOT least...
You may have noticed that some of our movies are on a new player. We actually had intended to use only the Google player, but there are times when we just can't do that. So, while the movies that are hosted on the Google server are still on the Google player, and will remain so, some of our newer movies will be on the new player, which has some really nice features.

First, we found that this is a popular player for many other sites that play movies, and between this and the divx player, it was a difficult choice. The problem with the DIVX player is that you have to download the divx plug in, which I encourage everyone to do, because starting in 2008, we'll also be using the DIVX player.

One really cool feature the DIVX player and our new player both feature is the ability to watch movies in full screen mode. That is, without all the background stuff. If you enjoy seeing our red drapes in the background, we think that's great, we like our red drapes. But, sometimes it's nice to watch a movie in full screen mode for the best effects, so with the click of a button you can do that on the new player.

The DIVX player has a feature where you can download the movie you watched and it'll save to your computer in a file called DIVX movies. If you download the divx player to your machine, you can watch those movies on or off line whenever you want. Most of you probably already know that.

The current new player also has a nice feature where the tool bar magically disappears, and if you hover over the screen it'll reappear. I noticed that in Firefox, if the movie is in full screen mode that tool bar does not magically disappear, but it's small enough and the colors are subtle enough that, at least for me, it wasn't a bother. I haven't tested this in IE or Netscape or AOL yet. If any of you have, please send me a comment about that, either on the shoutbox or on our forum. You can also post a comment about that here, too.

NOTE: The new player may take a bit longer to load, if it's taking too long, please let me know immediately so I can check to make sure it's not having problems. Meanwhile, your browser needs to have adobe flash player (plug in) version 8 or higher installed to facilitate the player. That's a free download, and only takes a minute or so to complete.

One more last
I really appreciate and enjoy the feedback and comments you folks have been leaving on the shoutbox and sending via email (including yours, Henry! lol!), keep those requests coming, too! Feel free to leave a message and say hello, if I happen to be on line at the time you pop in, I'm happy to chat with you for a few minutes, too. Also, please feel free to use the shoutbox to chat with each other, as well -- what a great way to compare notes and create new on-line friendships.

I may not be able to get to all of your requests right away, some of them have licensing issues that I have to take care of before I can show those, so if I'm unable to show your request, please don't be disheartened, because I'd really like to be able to show most every movie that has been requested.

The plan is to be able to show licensed features after the beginning of 2008, but this means that first I have to be able to obtain permission from the copyright owner to show films that are not in the public domain. Those films will probably only be featured for a short length of time, unless I can obtain some kind of indefinite licensing that will allow it to stay on the site, but it'll also come with a fee.

Whereas it's our goal to keep movies on the net for free viewing, we still have to come up with the money to purchase those licenses, so we're in the process of looking for sponsors. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring Classic Cinema Online for the licensing of movies that are not on the public domain, please send me an email. Meanwhile, it's taking some footwork on my end, and good things don't always happen over night.

And, again, to repeat one of last week's announcements, if you have or know of any classic movies uploaded to Google or somewhere that you'd like featured here, please send me the URL for consideration. If it meets Classic Cinema Online's preferences, I'll be more than happy to feature it.

Have a terrific weekend!

Salt of the Earth
The Grapes of Wrath
His New Job (Silent, short)
Check and Double Check
Penny Serenade
That's My Baby!
Father's Little Dividend
The Lawless Frontier
Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon

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